Latinas in the U.S. Organize To Secure Reproductive Rights

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Image courtesy of BELatina.

If anyone knows the risks of an abortion ban, it is the Latino community. Millions of women die every day across the continent due to a lack of access to safe abortion. 

And if there are still doubts, just ask the hundreds of thousands of women who formed a green wave to change the laws in Argentina and Colombia.

But in the United States, the outlook is bleaker.

Following the repeal of Roe v. Wade, states like Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Missouri have strict abortion bans in place, and at least nine more states are expected to follow suit in the coming months. 

Latinas, however, will not stand idly by.

As NBC News reported, a sense of urgency has prompted more Latinas across the country to volunteer money and time to strengthen existing networks that help people in need of abortion.

For example, in Florida, Stephanie Loraine heads the state’s only abortion fund run by people of color. She is co-executive director of the Access Network in Florida and told NBC News that her organization had seen an increase in support and donations.

The Access Network in Florida is reviewing more than 400 new volunteer applications, many from Latinas in the state, Piñeiro said. She has also raised more than $200,000 in the past three months, which has allowed her organization to double the average donation, from $200 to $400, to pay for an abortion appointment.

“That represents more than a year of abortion funding, from what we were able to pledge,” Piñeiro told NBC News. In most cases, they offer partial financial help to people seeking an abortion.

“We fill in a lot of the gaps in an economy that makes it impossible for people to live and to have savings,” Piñeiro said.

In Washington, D.C., Daniela Ochoa of All* Above All, a nonprofit that promotes affordable gatekeeping for abortions, has donated more money to local abortion funds, especially grassroots ones.

Many small abortion funds began quickly running out of capital after receiving a growing number of requests for financial support for abortion appointments, according to the National Network of Abortion Funds. This coalition does fundraising and volunteerism.

Groups such as Florida Access Network are part of the coalition.

These grassroots groups urgently need the funds to subsidize abortion care services and train and integrate more volunteers, Ochoa told NBC News.

Considering that, according to the Pew Research Center, in 2019, about 66 percent of all women who had abortions in the country were women of color, the situation is life or death for our communities.

In the weeks following the Supreme Court decision, confusion surrounding the new abortion-related laws has resulted in patients being denied much-needed maternal health care.

Confusion in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling led to delays and denials of some life-saving pregnancy care services, the Washington Post reported.

At the time of the decision to overturn Roe, 13 states had “trigger bans” in place, designed to go into effect and ban abortion within 30 days of the ruling. At least eight states banned the procedure when the verdict was released.

Now, the most common complications, such as incomplete abortions and ectopic pregnancies, have been scrutinized, delayed, and even denied, according to accounts from physicians in multiple states where the new laws have gone into effect.

In the political sphere, seventeen congresswomen have joined the popular demonstrations against the Supreme Court decision.

Last Tuesday, thirty-five people were arrested for crowding, obstruction, or discomfort, a D.C. code often cited when protesters are arrested during peaceful, planned, and coordinated actions of civil disobedience.

As reported by the Washington Post, dozens of abortion rights protesters rallied in front of the Supreme Court, demanding immediate action to protect abortion.